May 1, 2018 - 20:52 AMT
Armenia parliament fails to elect Nikol Pashinyan as new PM

Opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinyan failed to collect enough votes to become Armenia’s new prime minister after leading a massive campaign to oust the ruling authorities for several weeks.

102 lawmakers out of the 105 overall were attending the special sitting of the National Assembly who did not approve Pashinyan in the PM’s post after his predecessor was forced to resign amid protests across Armenia just one week after taking up the post.

Pashinyan needed more than half of all the votes - the support of 53 lawmakers - to secure the prime minister’s spot, but got only 45.

A second vote will be held a week later, and the candidate needs to collect at least one third of the votes to win.

The National Assembly was set to elect a new prime minister on Tuesday after the former was ousted amid massive protests across Armenia just one week after taking up the post.

An opposition leader and the founder and head of Civil Contract party, Pashinyan leads a street campaign against the ruling authorities, which has seen thousands of Armenians taking to the streets in massive protests.

Former prime minister Serzh Sargsyan was forced to resign on April 23, and Pashinyan is now seeking the appointment as prime minister by the National Assembly of what he calls “the people’s candidate”, - i.e. himself - the formation of an interim government and snap parliamentary elections.

Pashinyan has promised to rid Armenia of corruption and poverty. He called on his supporters to rally on Tuesday as parliament meets for the vote and then gather at Republic Square in downtown Yerevan to celebrate "celebrate their victory, their irreversible victory."